Culture / Art Republik

Art auction in London, United Kingdom: Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s self portrait goes up for sale at Christie’s

Rare and raw, Basquiat’s self-portrait is soul-bearing. After 25 years, the painting makes it out of musician Adam Clayton’s private collection to the world.

Feb 22, 2017 | By AFP Relaxnews

Jean-Michel Basquiat ‘Untitled'(1982) Oil Stick on Paper

On March 7, auction house Christie’s will present an Untitled self-portrait by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat for sale. Estimated to reach up to £1,500,000, the painting will be part of the upcoming Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction. Held for over 25-years in U2’s Bassist Adam Clayton’s personal collection, the self-portrait depicts the late neo-expressionist artist as a martyr, as described by Christie’s. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled will be on view as part of a global tour to Shanghai (February 8), Beijing (February 11-13), New York (February 24-26) and London (from March 3) ahead of the auction at Christie’s King Street, London.

Well, how exactly did Clayton come to have this piece? Clayton comments on his attraction to Basquiat’s pieces: “The idea that these young painters without any gallery experience could make their mark on the streets of New York, could go to the hippest night clubs, could mix with musical culture — was very exciting to me. It was where I came from — I always thought music and art went hand in hand together…”

Clayton acquired the painting upon first arriving in New York in 1990 while recording the band’s seventh studio album “Achtung Baby” and it remained in his collection for over two decades. In addition, the band also another large painting by Basquiat that was subsequently installed in their studio at that time. The musician is selling the piece in celebration of the 30th anniversary of U2’s “Joshua Tree” album. 

Basquiat (1960 – 1988) first appeared on the artistic scene as part of the graffiti duo SAMO©, based around the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in the late 1970s. He quickly rose to fame for his works, dichotomies and amalgamations that used a variety of creative genres (poetry, sketches, paintings etc.) to offer social commentary. Basquiat is considered the grandchild of Andy Warhol, with whom he collaborated for a handful of projects.His work is largely known for its rawness which undoubtedly propelled him from an anonymous street artist to an international star. 

The rare self-portrait, “Untitled,” will be presented by Christie’s as a major highlight of the auction house’s “Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction” on March 7, London.

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